Americans Need to Reprioritize

Response to Chicago Sun-Times’ “Safety vs. Liberty: How Far Should We Go?” 

It is funny to see how the people who criticize President Bush for being a big government conservative would at the same time applaud his efforts to expand the government’s investigative and enforcement powers to curtail civil liberties under the guise of national security (“Safety vs. liberty: How far should we go?” Nov. 20).

Judge Richard A. Posner complains that the “federal government is incompetent,” yet continues to argue that its top priority be national security over concern with rights. James L. Merriner summarizes this bipolar attitude well: “The War on Terror is, after all, a government program. It is perplexing that conservatives should view this one as the essence of patriotism while condemning others, say, the War on Poverty, as boondoggles.”

If conservatives are concerned with national security, then use this new interest in big government to fight crime within our borders instead of terrorism from the outside. The War on Crime is more important to our national security, considering that in 2004 there were 1.4 million violent crimes. During the same year, there were two terrorist attacks outside the United States against American targets, and zero attacks on U.S. soil.

It is time our priorities as a nation are realigned with reality.